Filipino-American Aleah Finnegan is keeping her fingers crossed that she would reach greater heights in the individual all-around of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
After securing an Olympic slot following an impressive showing in the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Belgium several weeks ago, Finnegan is training her sights on her first Olympic stint, something she had dreamt about when she was five years old.
The Louisiana State University student said she is tickled pink upon knowing that she would be the first female gymnast from the Philippines to compete since Maria Luisa Floro during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
“I never would have thought I would be going there in 2024 but I am so grateful that it couldn’t have gone either way,” Finnegan said.
“Looking forward, getting to the individual all-around final in the Olympics is definitely up there with my goals.”
Finnegan and two-time world champion Carlos Yulo will be the country’s Olympians along with boxer Eumir Marcial and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.
Getting into the final, however, will be easier said than done.
Finnegan will have to make it within the top 24 gymnasts and do better against the likes of Sunisa Lee and Simone Biles of the United States.
She finished 32nd in the recent world championships after a score of 51.366 points.
In preparation for the Summer Games, Finnegan said she will be making the most of her stint in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 with the LSU Tigers.
“I have my collegiate season coming up. It lasts from January to April so every Friday, I will play. The skill load is not as high as when competing for the Philippines in an international competition however the competitions every week itself prepares me,” Finnegan said.
“Postseason., I’m not sure if I’m going to join an international competition. I just want to try things out by myself and see what clicks. But in the meantime, everything goes through my season until April, and then on, it’s straight training until Paris.”